Showtime offers something new in an old-fashioned way tonight with the premiere of a six-episode summer stand-up showcase called Live Nude Comedy.
Shannon Elizabeth hosts, and before you start thinking you'll see her perform stand-up in the nude, well, not quite. Elizabeth (who became famous going nude in American Pie, and later learned professional poker, then Dancing With the Stars) will perform in brief comedy sketches with a group of performers that incluldes Josh Fadem, Chad Fogland, Michael Busch and Ramsey Moore. Each episode also will include two burlesque performances. Oh, and yes, there will be stand-up comedy. In fact, each half-hour will spotlight two stand-ups and give each an uncensored 10-minute set. Whitney Cummings, who performs on one of the episodes, also helped put the production together. She sat down with me for a few minutes during the Just For Laughs Chicago comedy festival to explain her motivations, including what she felt was a need to put new stand-ups in their best possible light (as in, longer sets, no censorship, fewer fake reaction shots). Watch:
The full schedule and listings (and a teaser video!) appears after the jump...
Following up on the comments from my earlier post on parallel thinking that paralyzed strippers are always funny, stand-up comedian Sam Tripoli has the footage from his Premium Blend appearance on Comedy Central, when he got physical for his closing bit about seeing a paralyzed stripper (at Spearmint Rhino, no less, which must be the strip club of choice for West Coast comedy references!). He got big applause then (and an afterthought from host D.L. Hughley), though a Harper's Magazine article from November 2001 thought his bit during Montreal New Faces didn't get the same kind of love.
For my part, I think it's all rather odd and amusing that before Saturday night, I hadn't seen a single sketch that showcased a paralyzed stripper, and now I have seen three. To be fair to Casey Wilson, though, she takes it farther by going quadriplegic, requiring her to maintain character as Dusty Velvet while relying on someone else to make her move it, move it. She certainly cannot bounce around like Tripoli does in the clip below: